Bundesliga: Emerson on Bayer season: “The work of Xabi Alonso”

Bundesliga: Emerson on Bayer season: “The work of Xabi Alonso”

The former Bayer 04 Leverkusen midfield star highlights current Bayer coach Alonso in an interview. When the title decision is made, Emerson wants to wear a special jersey.

Leverkusen’s former midfield star Emerson attributes his former club’s outstanding season primarily to coach Xabi Alonso.

“It’s no coincidence that more people talk about the coach than the players. They play good football. And that’s the work of Xabi Alonso,” said the 48-year-old in an interview with the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”. Bayer 04 can become German champions for the first time on Sunday with a home win against Werder Bremen (5.30 p.m./DAZN). If the pursuers FC Bayern and VfB Stuttgart lose their games, the title race in the Bundesliga will already be decided today.

“I’m not worried about it. It’s impossible for them to squander it. Impossible,” said Emerson, given Leverkusen’s 16-point lead six games before the end of the season. The former Brazilian international, who has lived in the US state of Florida in Orlando for six years, revealed that he will be excited against Bremen: “I have also picked out a Bayer Leverkusen jersey with the number 10. I will do that on Sunday for the game against Werder Dress Bremen to congratulate everyone.”

Emerson: “They know what they’re doing”

The fact that the Werkself won the trophy hardly comes as a surprise to Emerson. “For me weeks ago, this large number of last-minute victories were a clear indication that Leverkusen can become champions,” he explained. “They know what they are doing. And they are doing it in a situation in which a financially strong and powerful club like FC Bayern is not having a good season despite having many good players.”

Emerson moved from Gremio Porto Alegre to Leverkusen in 1997. By 2000 he appeared in 82 Bundesliga games for Bayer 04. In his last game for the club, he and the team of then coach Christoph Daum lost what they thought was a certain championship on matchday 34 with a 2-0 defeat at SpVgg Unterhaching. Shortly after the defeat that made FC Bayern champions, he said that Leverkusen would “never win anything. Never, never, never!” The fiasco was initiated by an own goal from Michael Ballack.

About the drama of 2000: “We lacked the last will”

“I think we weren’t mentally prepared for this moment. How should I put it? Our longing for this title was just too great – maybe that blocked us,” said Emerson now. “We lacked the final will, even though we wanted to win. Winning a club’s first championship title is never easy. You first have to develop a winning mentality. That’s what Leverkusen has done over the years.”

After the title drama in Unterhaching, Emerson moved to AS Roma, and later played in Europe for Juventus Turin, Real Madrid and AC Milan. He won the national championship once with Rome and Real. In 2009, the 73-time international ended his career at Pelé club FC Santos.

Source: Stern

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